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Grocers, Home Goods and (Yes) Gyms Will Be the Top Retail Performers Next Year

Updated: Nov 11, 2021

Grocers, home goods stores and even one fitness company are among the retailers well positioned to tackle 2021.


Written by: Placer.ai



Placer.ai has released its forecast for the best performing retailers in 2021. Some of the names on the list are no surprise, like grocers and home goods stores, which have both benefitted during the pandemic. Others are a surprise. Planet Fitness, for example, landed a spot on the list, as did indoor malls. These retailers, according to Placer.ai data, are well positioned for strong performance next year.


Traditional grocers Albertsons, Kroger and Publix have all had a strong 2020 with visits up from January through November 5.3%, .7% and -1.7% respectively. Isolating for June through November, all three chains had an increase in visits. In addition, the duration of visits increased 7.1% on average for all three brands, which Placer.ai says is typically an indication of larger basket size.


HomeGoods, At Home and Tractor Supply are driving performance in the home goods retailer category. At Home visits were up 25.9% from June to November, while HomeGoods had an average 6.7% year-over-year increase in traffic from July through November. Tractor Supply visits increased 14.6% from January to November, impressive considering January visits alone were down 3.4% year-over-year. It is worth noting that Home Depot and Lowe’s are not included in this list because they led the same category for top retailers in 2020, and we not eligible for the repeat title.


While it isn’t surprising to see these retailers make the list after the banner year that they have had, Planet Fitness and top tier indoor malls have also made the top-retailer list for 2021. This year, Planet Fitness had increased year-over-year foot traffic in January and February. Stay-at-home orders forced the brand to close, but visits have started to rebound in October and November, showing the potential for rapid recovery once doors are reopened. In addition, the brand never saw the extreme drop-off in visits that other fitness brands did. The industry standard this year was -70% in visits, while Planet Fitness remained in the -30% range.


Indoor malls are perhaps the most surprising addition to the list. However, Placer.ai was encouraged by the jump in mall visits during the holidays. For the week of Super Saturday, mall traffic was down only 29.9%. In addition, pent up demand for shopping spaces, an evolving mix of retailers and more owners embracing the retail evolution all spell good news for the future of malls. Placer.ai says that these trends have the potential to trigger a surge in the retail sector in the coming years.


In addition to these retail segments, Kohl’s and Dollar General also made the list of Placer.ai’s forecast for the top retailers next year.

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